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Verdant Tea is a Minneapolis-based company that brings fresh loose-leaf tea from small family farms in China to the US. Founder David Duckler didn’t originally set out to start a tea business; rather, he came to Chinese tea farms as a researcher interested in learning more about the farmers and their stories. His goal was to share their culture back in the west.

nb-verdantDuckler realized that for people to truly internalize the culture of tea, they had to make it a daily ritual like the farmers did. And the only way for him to share it on that level was to provide adequate amounts of inspiring tea so people around the world could drink it every day. Duckler also learned that almost all teas imported in America come from factory plantations, not small family farmers. He decided to ask his friends in China if they would be willing or able to provide him with enough tea to share on a large scale.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Duckler soon found himself hosting his first tea tasting at an art studio in downtown Minneapolis. More than half the tea was sold on the spot, and Verdant Tea was born.